Warm Winter Wellies | Outdoor Skills | Rewilding Adventure

Warm Winter Wellies

As I write this Bonfire Night is coming to an end; there is the occasional whistle and pop outside as the last of the fireworks are let off. It’s just over a week since the clocks went back, so it’s dark by 4.45pm. In 6 weeks it’ll be the Winter Solstice- the shortest day and the longest period of darkness, and then we are officially into Winter- and although the day’s will gradually get longer, we will have three months of cold, icy and snowy weather. So, I think this is a good time to pop a blog post on about how to keep little feet warm in wellies before winter hits! I write this knowing that some people have wellies, and others have walking boots. There’s certainly a trade off between the two: walking boots are often warmer with better grip on them; whilst wellies allow us to wade into deeper water and mud, as well as being cheaper- certainly a consideration if you have two or three children who would only fit in their footwear for 9-12 months before out-growing them. 

Splashing Puddles Wellies Winter Forest School
Wellies cracking through ice!

Let’s face it- wellies are pretty often worn at Forest School, during many outdoor activities and generally when out for walks with family or friends. As our feet are in contact with cold ground, and are an extremity, they can get pretty cold pretty quickly.  So cold that for little ones and adults alike, it can be painful and cause what would be a pleasant experience be endured until it’s over, or even be ended prematurely to get warm. 

Forest School Warm Temperature
Comparing air and ground temperature

Also, during those short winter days, the sun may take the chill out of the air, but the ground still will not warm up. As you can see in the photo to the right- here we are comparing the air temperature with the ground temperature. And the ground is still frozen, even at 3pm; whilst the air temperature is 6 degrees warmer. If it’s cold we don’t hesitate to put an extra layer on, but sometimes we don’t always think about warm feet, or realise the marked difference in the ground temperature. 

Let’s face it- wellies are just rubber or plastic, and the insulating properties of these materials is not the best. That’s why these top tops are suggested. 

Top tip 1: make sure the wellies you are wearing are big enough! Now this might sound like simple stuff, but in  fact the advice is that wellies could actually be a little too big for you! The last pair of wellies I had were at least 15 years old- and as an adult the wellies might last us a long time. But for children, who are growing all the time, their wellies can get too small quite quickly. This tip allows you to follow the second tip!

Top tip 2: wear (at least) two pairs of thick socks.  This will give you enough cushioning and insulation to keep your feet warm! If it’s a really cold day, then you might want to pop a third pair on (these ones can be a little thinner if you want…).  It’s also worth these socks being quite high- I’ve lost count of the amount of times that children have had short socks worked down as they walk. But, regardless of how many pairs of socks you have on- you should make sure that you follow top tip number 3…

Top tip 3: make sure there’s still space in the wellies once you have them on... Now this is a tip that takes into account the previous two tips- and needs to be considered when you’re buying the wellies in the first place. The reason for this is that, it’s all well and good having two pairs of socks on inside your wellies, but if you’ve had to squeeze them into the wellies, then chances are that you’ve also squeezed the blood out of your foot! And blood is a way of bringing heat into your foot in the first place. This tip is all the more important when we think that, if children are outgrowing wellies, we can be tempted to squeeze their feet in, thinking that because they have a coupe of pairs of toasty socks on that they will have warm feet. This is not the case. If anything, if a child cannot fit two pairs of socks on in their wellies, and still have space inside, then they are already too small- it’s time for you to think about getting another pair- rather than buying, many charity shops have them, as well as car boot sales and family and friends with older children; you can also post on local buy and sell sites, such as Facebook trading sites  to see if anyone have any wellies that children have grown out out. 

Any way- all of the fire works have now ended, and it’s time for bed. Hope to see you at Forest School soon. 


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